My mother just visited us for a little over two weeks. She lives in California and we live in Southern New Hampshire. Given the great distance between us, I felt a longing to connect with her on a soul level - a connection that would last the great stretches of time apart. She was in essence my first teacher, giving me the greatest gift of my life, the passion to rise early and do spiritual practice. She never taught with words or direct efforts, it was all by example. I saw within her a deep love of the Divine and I wanted that. With her influence, I have developed a daily spiritual practice that has allowed me to tap into the light of the soul, the Divine, God and Guru.
On the night of her arrival I asked her: "Mataji, what time shall we get up to practice?"
From there we set our schedule and did not miss a morning together. It was absolute bliss.
One morning in particular, I remember the quiet in the house just before the sun rose. With my mother quietly watching, I struck a match to light a candle. As the light of the flame filled the room, a sensation of gratitude warmed my heart. In our meditation room with the candle lit we began our yoga practice together. As we practiced I snuck a few glances over to see what my mother was up to. I loved seeing how as a beautiful yogi-woman she took care of herself with acceptance and love. Her movements looked like they felt good to her. She was moving easy, steady and in harmony with her breath. It inspired me to accept my body, myself, and practice with love in each and every breath for who I am. I decided to chill out on my practice a bit. I let go of the more difficult postures that I didn't really want to do but felt like I should and instead focused on sensations of bliss, ease and enjoyment.
After finishing our yoga, we began chanting a Shabad, a divine poem or song from the Sikh tradition. We had focused on the same Shabad for many days - my mother taking time in the day to teach us the meaning of each word. In the process, my mind and body seemed to open up to the energetics of this Shabad, the words now seeping deep into my being. Not only did I have my own experience of the words she explained, but I tapped into the many experiences of all the devotees who had ever chanted these words. My heart was healed and then I could contribute in this healing energy for future devotees to experience.
My mother and I each played a pump organ called a harmonium while my husband played the tabla. Together we sang, our voices melting into each other. Together, we awakened a light within us whose warmth took every fear and anguish away.
After we had finished singing my daughter awoke and came to the meditation room, finding her way to her grandmother's lap. I looked at some beautiful flowers we had put in our meditation space and noticed their fragrance. After those moments of ecstatic singing with my mother, a new kind of fragrance filled the room. One that filled our souls. We all inhaled deeply, our souls held and nourished.
My mother is a beautiful teacher. If you have the opportunity to study with her it is a great blessing. Please see the following facebook link: Hargobind Sadan Kundalini Yoga Sikh Dharma Ashram
Snatam Kaur is an American singer, peace activist and author raised in the Sikh and Kundalini Yoga tradition. She grew up in the presence of her spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, learning the essence of Naad Yoga, a form of yoga focusing on sacred sound. At the core of this practice is an essential experience of peace and healing which helps her music be accessible to all people. Her book Original Light is a compassionate and supportive guide to creating a daily spiritual practice. To find out more about her book and online course visit snatamkaur.com.